Updated General Retention Schedule for Publications

Rebekkah Shaw GRAMA, Records Management

An updated version of the retention schedule for publications is going before the State Records Committee in September. The new description is not a description of publications as much as it is a definition. It states simply, “any record, regardless of format, that is issued by a governmental entity for public distribution at the total or partial expense of that governmental entity.” Governmental entities should use this schedule for publications they have produced and distributed, and not for publications they receive or subscribe to.

The statutory definition of a State Publication (UCA 9-7-101) is:

“state publication means a book, compilation, directory, document, contract or grant report, hearing memorandum, journal, law, legislative bill, magazine, map, monograph, order, ordinance, pamphlet, periodical, proceeding, public memorandum, resolution, register, rule, report, statute, audiovisual material, electronic publication, micrographic form and tape or disc recording regardless of format or method of reproduction, issued or published by a state agency or political subdivision for distribution.”

This is a good exhaustive list of many formats from books to online publications. With so much that can be called a publication there are a few ways to determine if your publication should use this schedule.

• Does your publication fit the statute’s description?

• Is it a record according to GRAMA?
o It is a record if your entity prepared, owned, received, or retained it; but,
o It is not a record if access to it is limited by the laws of copyright or patent unless the copyright or patent is owned by the governmental entity in question (see Utah Code Section 63G-2-103(22)(a)(i)(b)(iv)(vii)(viii).

• Is it published?
o Dictionary definition: to prepare and produce material in printed or electronic form for distribution.

• Did your office pay for the publication’s creation and/or distribution?
o Directly, through the cost of publication, or
o Indirectly, through the wages of producers.

The proposed retention for publications is, “Permanent. The creating agency shall transfer one copy to State Archives when published.”